The Academy Adds Best Popular Film Oscar Category

Irene MckinneyAug 08, 2018

The most attention-grabbing announcement is the arrival of a new award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

In 1929 at the first Oscars ceremony, the Academy awarded films in two separate categories - Outstanding Picture and Unique And Artistic Picture - both considered the top awards of the night.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced some of the biggest changes to the Oscars in its almost century-long history.

The most intriguing part of this - not marking my calendar for 2020 yet, sorry - is the one about "popular film".

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from February 23 to February 9 for 2020.

The category will nearly certainly see acclaimed box office hits such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Mission Impossible: Fallout nominated, and if AMPAS truly wants to open things up to the public, an online vote for the final victor wouldn't be remotely surprising. That same year, the Academy also reinstated a "preferential ballot" for Best Picture voting that allows members to rank films according to preference in that category, rather than simply picking one victor. Bailey and Hudson said eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world", a statement sent to Academy members on August 7 reads. The body stated that the smaller awards will be presented during the telecast's commercial breaks, with the winning moments aired later in the broadcast. Next year's 91st Awards will take place in its traditional late February slot, but in the following year, it will be held on Sunday, February 9. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash. "Popular films are films!" However, if such massive changes are in order, it's possible that the Academy is in a hurry to see if these modifications will have the intended effect of renewing interest in the prestigious awards show.

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